Waynesboro Minister Helping Former Felons Regain Rights

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It's one thing to turn your own life around after heading down the wrong road, but something much more extraordinary to help others do the same. A convict turned minister turned helping-hand in Waynesboro is living proof.

Mercedies Harris spent 28 years working and waiting to get his right to vote restored after a felony drug conviction. Now, he's starting a new organization to help others regain their rights.

Monday Harris welcomed volunteers and supporters to the opening of the new Waynesboro office for the Hollaback and Restore Project.

A line of former felons waited to meet with Harris. The Hollaback and Restore Project is trying to find all non-violent felons who've done their time and paid their dues to come in and see if they're eligible to vote and work in Virginia.

Mercedies Harris of the Hollaback and Restore Project said, "We're talking about people's lives. We're talking moving on in life. We're talking about regaining something that was taken."

Richael Faithful of the Advancement Project stated, "He just has a lived experience of helping people through that transition - restoring individual lives but also lives of their families and more broadly the community."

Harris had his rights restored last October. He's now working with the governor's office to develop plans to reach eligible felons who've given up over the years.

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